Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: The Inevitable End

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Inevitable End

The end of the semester…it’s really here. And yet the light of the end of the tunnel still seems so dim. Even when most people can say, whether they have been taking tests or writing papers, “two down and one to go,” the end seems both too close and too far…impossible to finish in the short time, impossible to last through the hours and hours that yet remain until break.
Facebook has gotten out of control. SNL videos are being posted right and left, and their humor (or lack thereof) subsequently debated. Threads discussing the similarities between comic book heroes and novel protagonists reach 20 comments or more. In between paper-writing spurts, when I hit a wall on Friday night, I debated the merits of Battlestar Galactica’s Laura Roslin’s (*fictional*) presidential decisions with a classmate…before I realized that said classmate was a lawyer and I was just going to think my ability to form an argument had disappeared if I kept trying. For those of you swamped in numbers, I’m guessing that going to CVS and trying to calculate how much money you would have saved if you had remembered to bring your rewards card seems more appealing than studying right now. Basically, at this point, any sort of work seems more appealing than that dreaded last thing you have to get through before break. But when you realize how eerily similar your chosen avoidance tactic is to the work you’re supposed to be doing…you panic a bit before you go back to work.
But break is almost here. I just keep trying to tell myself that. I am currently projecting myself into a relaxed and un-nauseated future. And, as I try to get through this last paper, I just think to myself: “This is the last time you will have to write three crazy papers at the end of a semester. Next semester at this time, you will have only one paper to write. You can do this! *PUUUUUUSH*!” Then, of course, I ask my subconscious why it sounds like a midwife and remember that until March I’ll be studying my butt off for comps but, hey, don’t question your internal motivation tactics, right?
Something that has helped me a little in my panicked state is thinking how much worse the professors have it than we do. Yes, you can say that they assigned all the work in the first place, but that’s the nature of the system that we were all deluded enough to sign up for. After we hand in those final papers and take those final tests, they still have to grade all of them. And then they have to wait for and face their own test results, the course evaluations. Then they have to prepare for next semester’s classes over break. And that’s on top of all the other stuff (which I discussed somewhat in one of my previous posts) that keeps them constantly working.
I don’t think this is a “misery loves company” strategy. That’s what Facebook is. That’s what you do with your peers. I think this is a case of “if they can do it, I can do it.”  It’s inspirational! Or at least I’d like to think so.
Next time I “see” you all, it will be Winter Break! And we will all be much happier. Good luck finishing up the semester, everyone! See you on the other side.

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